Pacific men's soccer (3-2-0) got back in the win column tonight in impressive fashion, 3-1 over UC Riverside (0-5-0).
Pacific scored in the 24th minute to take an early lead, UC Riverside equalized in the 54th minute, but the Tigers scored two unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes to see off the Highlanders.
"I really liked the guys' application tonight to really focus and concentrate on some tactical things that we've been trying to address," head coach Ryan Jorden said. "What we've worked on showed up tonight and that's why we scored three goals."
In the 24th minute, junior forward Jonathan Jimenez scored his first goal as a Tiger when he followed in a shot from senior defender Bob Groenendijk that was parried by the UC Riverside keeper. Jimenez picked up the rebound and passed the ball into the net to open the scoring.
In the 54th minute, UC Riverside equalized when Dusan Keca scored on a well-struck ball from outside of the penalty area.
In the 70th minute, freshman Jose Sosa scored his first career goal when Groenendijk passed the ball across the face of the goal to find Sosa who was charging in and buried the pass to give Pacific the lead and earn Sosa his first game-winning goal. Sosa's goal earned Groenendijk the first multi-assist game of his career as well.
In the 83rd minute, senior Camden Riley sealed the deal for Pacific when he scored following a free kick from Sosa. Sosa's ball found Riley on the back post who took a hard shot into the center of the net to put a bow on Pacific's victory.
"Cam came up to me and asked who'd hit the ball before the free kick," Sosa said. "I told him to go far post. I sensed it almost. He came up big."
Pacific now goes into their longest hiatus of the season. The team will get five days off before hosting Sacramento State on Tuesday.
"This will be a chance for us to get our legs back under us and turn our attention to the next opponent," Jorden said. "It's always a battle with Sac State. They're a very well coached team and it is our job to put ourselves in a situation where we're prepared for them."
In case you missed it:
- Pacific made two changes from their previous lineup to start the match. Junior goalkeeper Mateo Gomez got the start in what was his first action since the 2016 season. Max Bilsborough made his first start for Pacific in place of senior Wouter Verstraaten, who missed the match through injury.
- UC Riverside took the game to Pacific in the opening 10 minutes, taking four shots in the stretch.
- Pacific fought back quickly and took three shots and earned a corner in the next five minutes.
- In the 20th minute, junior Tariq Branche nearly scored his first goal of the season when made a run into the right side of the penalty area and took a shot to force the Highlander keeper to make a diving save.
- In the 24th minute, Jimenez scored his first goal as a Tiger when he followed in a shot taken by Groenendijk to open the scoring and earn an assist for the senior defender.
- In the 42nd minute, Riverside's Alan Alcantara picked up the first yellow card of the match.
- Despite Pacific's lead, Riverside outshot Pacific 11-6 in the opening 45 minutes. The Highlanders also out-fouled the Tigers 9-4 in the half.
- In the 53rd minute, UCR's Daniel Aguirre picked up a yellow card.
- In the 54th minute, The Highlanders scored the first goal of the half when Dusan Keca took a strike from outside of the penalty area to score and tie the game at a goal apiece.
- The Tigers put together multiple legitimate scoring chances following the goal before retaking the lead in the 70th minute when Sosa scored. His goal came following a great pass across the face of the goal from Groenendijk that found a charging Sosa.
- In the 74th minute, Sosa picked up his second yellow card of the season.
- Also in the 74th minute, junior Anthony Orendain picked up a yellow card. It was his first of the season.
- In the 83rd minute, Riley scored following a free kick from Sosa who played the ball across the penalty area to find Riley on the back post. It was Sosa's second assist and Riley's third goal of the season.
- Gomez made his first appearance in a match since 2016. He earned the win making two saves in the process.
- Bilsborough made his first career start.
- Jimenez scored his first goal as a Tiger.
- Sosa scored his first goal as a Tiger.
- Groenendijk recorded the first multi-assist game of his career.
- Camden Riley scored his third goal of the season and has taken just nine shots so far this year for a shooting percentage of .333.
More from coach Jorden:
Jimenez and Sosa have worked hard this season to get goals. How good was it to see them score?
"I'm very happy for those guys. They work tremendously hard for the team, but just because you work hard doesn't always mean that you find the back of the net. I'm really pleased with them. Jose had a good night with a goal and an assist. Jonathan opening the scoring for us was important. We know they'll get goals for us. I'm really happy for their performances and it was an important part of our outcome."
Did you make any adjustments after UC Riverside equalized early in the second half?
"We stuck to what we were doing. Their guy hit an unbelievable ball, what a goal that was. Good for him. Credit to our guys though, they didn't go away. I really thought that we turned up the pressure and played at a higher tempo. That got us to the next two goals."
Can you talk about Bilsborough's performance filling in for Wouter Verstraaten?
"He was great. Max has played in two matches now for us. We asked him to step in because of an injury and he had a performance in an important role. I thought he looked really solid all-night long."
Groenendijk created two goals for you tonight. What stood out from him?
"We know how good he is. He has incredible quality in his ability to pass the ball and defend. He's a terrific left back. I think it's great when he shows up on the scoresheet because it gives validation to a position that maybe doesn't get enough credit a lot of the time."
What was the week like leading up to today after Monday's loss?
"We were a bit deflated on Monday because we didn't have a performance that we felt good about. The guys' attitude was great. They owned it. Their sharpness was really good the last couple days. They showed a desire to come back and try to right that performance with tonight's that got us a result. I was really pleased with that."
What did you like from Mateo Gomez tonight?
"It took a really, really good strike to beat him. I thought he was calm and he was really calculated in his decisions. He had a good performance for us, which was great."